Florida prosecutors moved this week to block an application to release a man from life in prison on the grounds of his innocence - claiming the application should not be heard as it was too long.
Krishna Maharaj was convicted in 1987 of the murders of Derrick and Duane Moo Young in a hotel in Miami, Florida, and sentenced to death. He spent 16 years on death row before his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
Now 76, Maharaj, who was born in Trinidad and is therefore a British national, has always maintained his innocence. Legal action charity Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith - who has represented Maharaj pro bono for many years - is convinced he is telling the truth.
In his recently published book Injustice Stafford Smith offers compelling evidence of his client's innocence and suggests that in fact the killings were highly likely to have been carried out by the Colombian Medellin Cartel.
There is strong evidence to show that the Moo Youngs were laundering drug money - up to $5 billion (£3.2bn) - for the cartel and skimming from them too.
He also highlights alarming failings in the original trial.
Five alibi witnesses all placed Maharaj more than 30 miles away at the time of the murder, but none of these witnesses were called to testify at his trial by his original lawyer Eric Hendon, who apparently thought the alibi was too solid and therefore might look suspicious.
Police officers and prosecution witnesses perjured themselves on the witness stand and Maharaj's defence lawyer failed to challenge seemingly contradictory evidence.
The court was told that the only alleged eyewitness to the killings, Neville Butler, had passed a lie-detector test which he had in fact failed.
In a surreal twist, the original trial judge was led away in handcuffs for taking bribes in another case.
Rather than call for a mistrial which he was entitled to do Hendon advised his client to waive this right.
The new judge ordered the prosecution to draw up the execution order even before a verdict of guilty had been delivered.
In 2002, due to the violations in his original trial, the death sentence was quashed - but instead of being released, Maharaj was re-sentenced to life imprisonment.
The federal judge ruled in the case that "claims of actual innocence based on newly discovered evidence have never been held to state a ground for federal habeas corpus relief."
The finding stems from a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Herrera v Collins (1993).
In 1982 Leonel Torres Herrera was found guilty of the murder of a Texas police officer, Enrique Carrisalez, and sentenced to death. He subsequently pleaded guilty to the murder of a public safety officer, David Rucker, on the same evening - September 29 1981.
Ten years later Herrera filed for a writ of habeas corpus claiming new evidence in the form of two sworn affidavits, one of which was from a lawyer, stating that Herrera's brother Raul Snr had confessed to both killings before he died in 1984.
Leonel Harrera argued that the new evidence proved his innocence and that therefore his execution would constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the eighth amendment of the US constitution.
However the Supreme Court, in a majority opinion, found that a claim of actual innocence based on newly discovered evidence was not a ground for federal habeas relief.
In effect nothing in the US constitution, by this interpretation, says that an innocent person cannot be held in prison for the rest of his life, or even executed.
It also found that the Texas court's refusal to consider the new evidence did not violate due process.
In 2006, attempts to secure a retrial for Maharaj were rejected meaning a pardon, commutation or prisoner repatriation are his last remaining remaining hopes.
Last month Stafford Smith, working with Florida co-counsel Ben Kuehne and Susan Dmitrovsky, filed a further challenge to Maharaj's convictions, seeking to overturn the US federal rule that his innocence cannot be considered a substantive reason to order his release.
Among new evidence they submitted were:
However this week it emerged that Florida prosecutors were attempting to block the application claiming that the appeal should not be heard. They argue that it exceeds the page limit, some of it is printed single spaced instead of double spaced and that the oath verifying the appeal should have been written differently.
"This is the kind of nonsense that bedevils the law when lawyers ignore justice and focus on procedures best suited to the middle ages," Stafford Smith remarked. "The British government must intervene in the case and insist that Kris belatedly receives a fair hearing on his innocence."
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